I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt.
To me, Genesis 3 is the saddest chapter in the entire bible. Adam and Eve’s disobedience destroyed their relationship with God. Their sinful choice had far-reaching consequences as every human is now separated from God because of sin. But God had a rescue plan…
Immediately after Adam and Eve made their selfish choice, God delivered a shocking promise – that a descendent of the woman would defeat the serpent. This promise acts as a backdrop for the rest of the Old Testament. Imagine the serpent’s response to such a promise! Satan’s goal from that point forward was to destroy the offspring of the woman who was destined to crush his head. In fact, the entire Old Testament can be read as a story of a battle between Satan and God – of Satan trying to destroy the royal family line and God working to preserve the family line from which Jesus would be born.
In Genesis 4, we see this royal line threatened as Cain killed Abel and Cain walked away from God. Who would carry the seed of the woman forward? But God’s plan was always that Jesus would not descend from Cain or Abel. God gave Adam and Eve a third son, Seth, and it was from him that the promised royal offspring would come!
In today’s New Testament reading, we see the promised offspring (Jesus!) in danger of being killed by the evil king, Herod. But God was not thwarted by the plans of an evil king. He warned Joseph in a dream to escape south to Egypt until the threat had passed.
God’s plan of redemption could not – and will not – be overcome by the serpent. Jesus was born! Jesus was crucified. And Jesus will come again!